James Harden Thinks He Gets Wrongly Critiqued Because He ‘Out-Thinks The Game’
When it comes to NBA watercooler talk, James Harden is among the most polarizing players of his generation. There’s no debate that he’s one of the most gifted scorers in league history, and his ability to create off the dribble and get his shot off against any defender is second-to-none.
You can hardly even argue against the resulting effect on his team in the regular season, at least. The playoffs are a different story entirely. Harden and the Rockets, though they’ve come close to upsetting the dynastic Warriors on at least two occasions, have been unable to clear the final hurdle of the Western Conference to reach an NBA Finals.
That troubling reality provides more than enough fuel for his detractors, who remain a vocal and ardent contingent. Harden himself isn’t oblivious to this, and on Wednesday before his Rockets prepared to square off against the West’s newest usurpers, the Clippers, he gave a somewhat rare sitdown interview to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and addressed his critics directly.
James Harden has a message for everyone who takes issue with his game.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 14, 2019
When asked what he believes critics get wrong about his game, Harden responded, “Everything. He’s looking for foul calls, or he flops, or his style of play can’t win. Well, in a system of basketball, if a team is running an offense, who do you want to have the ball in their hands at the end of the game? The best player. In all the stuff that happens and the stuff we’re running, the coach has the ball in my hands, or in Russ’ hands. As far as drawing or looking for fouls, I just go out there and play basketball. I out-think the game. I’m faulted for that.”
Indeed, Harden is regularly criticized for hunting foul calls, especially in those instances where it appears it comes as the expense of actually making a play. In addition, the Rockets’ iso-heavy approach and machine-like adherence to the value of three-pointers and shots at the rim makes some critics feel like the Rockets are trying to strip basketball down to its mathematical variables at the expense of the beauty of the game.
Nonetheless, it doesn’t appear Harden is going to alter his approach to suit the critics anytime soon, regardless of the outcome.
Source : Jamie Cooper Link